Sawtooth tyre wear and drone.


Registered User
Hi guys, I’d appreciate some help if you can.

S3, pre-facelift 3 door hatch on 58k miles. Now on second set of tyres (Michelin Pilot Sport 4s) at 50k miles. It gets driven spiritedly but never abused. Previous tyres were Goodyear Assy 2s and gave around 26k miles; the Michelins look to be performing similarly and I’ve been well impressed with their performance in both wet and dry – really, an excellent tyre.

Last week I thought I detected a new noise from within the car, a sort of hum, two days later a full-blown drone, and sounding suspiciously like a wheel bearing begging replacement.

Visit to Indy pal that services my car, who jumps in the passenger seat for a half mile drive and confirms that it sounds like a bearing ‘but let’s have a look for Sawtooth when we get back’. Sawtooth it is, specifically on the outside edges of both rear tyres.

Indy pal says go get alignment checked and sends me off to local specialist (Hunter 4 wheel alignment check) who come back and says everything well within guidelines and any adjustments he made would only be to make the numbers look good on paper, but would make zero difference to either driving or contributing to lessening my new-found (and apparently still getting louder) drone.

Any ideas?

Ian a3v6

Registered User
It is unfortunately a trait of VAG cars I had it on a previous A3 but my R32 was thankfully ok .The only way to alleviate the symptom is to choose a tyre with a tread pattern that does not lend it's self to the sawtooth effect when worn .


Registered User
What about having the wheel balance checked?


Registered User
MQB chassis cars seem to suffer and seems to be covered in the Skoda forums with this issue..

Thanks, I'll have a look.

Tha bit I don't get is that the tyres ran perfectly for the past 8k miles; it's only been over a week since the first hum appeared - now it's a full-on heavy drone.